partner visa reforms

PARTNER VISA REFORMS 2021

Major reforms to the Australian Partner Visa program will be implemented by the Australian Government in November 2021. These changes to “strengthen the integration outcomes of the Partner Visa program” were announced as part of the 2020-2021 federal budget.

partner visa reforms

The partner visa application process will be drastically reformed with the following changes:

REFORM 1 – NEW MINIMUM ENGLISH REQUIREMENT FOR APPLICANTS & SPONSORS:

A new English language requirement will be imposed on the Partner Visa Applicant as well as their sponsor if the sponsor is a permanent resident. This change will require:

  • Permanent residents wanting to bring their partner to Australia will need to first meet a new language requirement before their partner can apply for a Partner Visa. This condition will not apply to Australian citizen sponsors: and
  • Partner visa applicants to meet the new English Language Requirement when they apply for the second-stage assessment that transitions their visa from provisional to permanent. This usually occurs 2 years after the partner visa granted. Assumedly, a partner visa holder will remain a provisional visa holder until they meet the English language requirement.

Provisional partner visa holders will have access to government-funded Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) classes to learn English.  The government is still undertaking a public consultation process and has not yet announced the level of English language proficiency that will be required to partner visa holders and their sponsors.

REFORM 2 – NEW MANDATORY SPONSOR PRE-APPROVAL

Before applying for an Australian partner visa all applicants will need to first make sure that their Australian partner has been pre-approved as a Partner Visa Sponsor.  A partner visa application will not be able to be lodged without being linked to a previously approved sponsor application.

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will separate the partner sponsorship and visa application processes.

This new process will be implemented as part of the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2018 (the Act). The government’s justification for these changes is that the DHA will be able to inform a partner visa applicant of adverse information about their Australian sponsor, such as a criminal history or history of domestic violence and give the applicant a chance to withdraw from the process before a visa is lodged or granted.

The practical impact of these changes is that partner visa applicants will likely experience even longer processing times as they will need to wait for their Australian partner to be approved before they can lodge their application. In many cases, potential visa applicants may need to leave Australia while they wait for their sponsor’s approval to be granted.

REFORMS WILL COME INTO EFFECT IMMEDIATELY

As soon as the federal government brings in these changes in November 2021 they will apply to all partner visa applications from the date that the changes are implemented.  These government reforms were originally announced to commence in November 2021.  There will not be a grace period.

You can read more about the government announcement on the DHA Website.

If you have any questions about how to apply for a partner visa or how these changes may impact you feel free to Contact Us to talk to our Registered Migration Agent.

Permanent Residence Australia

Australia is a land that is known for its many distinctive features. Along with it being the largest continent country globally, it’s known for its vast nature, long beaches, and the only home to the kangaroo. As such, it forms a good destination for many people who would love to be part of the warm and friendly culture and the many job and study opportunities that are found there.

For you to live in Australia permanently, you’ll need to obtain a Permanent Residence visa first.

There are several permanent visas that one can get. They are

  • Work stream permanent resident visas
  • Family stream permanent resident visas
  • Business/investment permanent resident visas

1.    Work Stream Permanent Resident Visa in Australia

These are suitable for people with skills that are valuable to Australia or who have gotten work in Australia.

It includes;

Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189)

This visa is for people who have skills that the Australian government requires. The holder of the visa can live and work permanently in Australia. However, you will need to be invited to apply for it and should not be older than 45 years.

Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)

Nominated skilled workers are allowed to live and work permanently in Australia. One should receive an invitation before they apply for the visa.

Distinguished Talent Visa (Subclass 124)

It is awarded to individuals who have internationally recognized talents and are exceptionally good in them.

Most of these subclasses are subject to the following;

  • Receive an invitation to apply.
  • Possess skills that are suitable for assessment.
  • Have their occupation among the Skilled Occupation List.
  • Submission of English test scores.

Skilled Occupation List for Permanent Residence in Australia

This contains a list of occupations that migrants are allowed to nominate. The list is frequently updated based on the changes in the Australian labor market. Interested applicants are advised to frequent the Australian website for this. The SOL are in 3 categories.

  • Regional Occupation List
  • Medium and Long term strategic skills list
  • Short term skilled Occupation List

2.    Business/investment Permanent Resident Visas in Australia

Granted to people who want to conduct business in Australia. They include;

Investor Visa (Subclass 891)

This visa is awarded to people who wish to make investments in Australia.

Business Innovation and Investment (Subclass 888)

They are given to business owners who want to continue with their business operations in Australia.

3.    Family Stream Visa in Australia

Granted to people who have Australian family members.

Partner Visa (Subclass 820 and 801)

It allows partners to both live in Australia together permanently.  

 

Eligibility Evaluation

When applying for a point tested permanent resident visas in Australia, one will be required to score a minimum of 65 points for consideration of the visa. The points are distributed as shown below. A higher score increases the chances of one getting a visa. For example, an applicant that gets between 80 – 90 points is better placed to get a visa than the one who gets 65 points.

CategoryMaximum points awarded
Age (25 – 33)30 points  
Accreditation in community language5 points  
State sponsorship  5 points  
Study in a Regional Area5 points  
Spouse with competent English  5 points  
Skilled spouse  10 points  
Spouse is an Australian Citizen or holder of a PR visa10 points  
Proficiency in English  20 points  
Work Experience in Australia (8-10 years)20 points  
Work Experience outside Australia (8-10 years)  15 points  
 Received Education outside Australia (Doctorate)  20 points  

Nutshell

It is possible to live in Australia permanently if you meet the criteria that they have set. Besides filling in the application forms on the website, one should have their documents for the various categories ready as proof to their application.

TRA JRP FEE INCREASE

In May 2021, TRA advised of a proposal to increase the cost of JRWA to $2,540from 1 September 2021. All participants in the Job Ready Program who have not yet completed a JRWA will have to pay the new amount. If you would like to avoid paying the new amount, you must be assessed as eligible and pay for your JRWA before 1 September 2021.

More information available at

https://www.tradesrecognitionaustralia.gov.au/news-media/news/consultation-has-commenced-proposed-changes-fees-charged-some-trades-recognition

On 6 May 2021 tra advised that The Department of Education, Skills and Employment is seeking feedback on a proposal to change the fees charged by Trades Recognition Australia for the Job Ready Program, Migration Skills Assessment and Migration Points Advice assessment services from 1 September 2021.

COVID -19 Disaster Payment – Temporary visa holders

Legislative Instrument – F2021L00707 – Financial Framework (Supplementary Powers) Amendment (Home Affairs Measures No. 3) Regulations 2021

This Instrument establishes the legislative authority for government spending on a one-off and time-limited COVID-19 Disaster Payment. The payment is available to assist Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and temporary visa holders who have the right to work in Australia, who have had their hours of work and income significantly affected by the restrictions. Further criteria apply

This Instrument amends the requirement to apply for assistance within six months after the start of the period of the restrictions, and clarify that assistance may be provided to eligible persons during or after the period of the restrictions.

Further information can be found on the Services Australia website and as part of the COVID-19 Disaster Payment Guidelines which will be made available on the GrantConnect.